By: Cheryl Gushue

The role of the “Beauty Therapist” is to offer a range of treatments essential to well-being to make our clients look and feel their best.  Beauty professionals are compassionate people.  They are confidants, best friends, and the caretakers of our bodies.  They get up close and intimately personal.  They have been there for us in the most important days of our lives like weddings, birthdays, engagements, career moments, breakups, parties and even funerals.  There are countless stories of how hairdressers have helped cancer patients who have lost their hair cope with such difficult times.  Some hairdressers donate their time to give haircuts to homeless people or women in shelters which helps these people feel just a little more human. 

A trusted beauty pro has lifetime clients as well as several generations of family members that they have served for many years, even decades.  The pandemic lockdown has shown our industry even more respect and appreciation from our loyal clients.  They missed us dearly not just because their roots were growing in or their nails were chipped, but because of how we make them feel.  Clients tell their beauty pros more secrets than they tell their partners because there is an innate trust factor.  Being in our chair is not just an experience of beauty, but also a connection between someone who is going to help you look and feel your best.  As a makeup artist, my goal was to help my clients look their best and to make sure when I am done that they float out of my chair elated with happiness and confidence.

Canadian Pro Beauty Magazine has recently given the gift of beauty to a very special person. Angelica was found to have the rarest of metabolic/genetic disorders which is related to Mitochondrial Encephalomyopathy Lactic Acidosis and Stroke-like Episodes (MELAS). The condition manifested in her early twenties while she was studying in Webster University, Geneva where she spent three years.  The particular type of mutation in Angelica’s case is never seen before. Hence it took the medical professionals a couple of years to actually diagnose and decide on the precise treatment. Angelica requires a lot of help and support from her parents.

All this did not deter Angelica from continuing her studies.  Even while the diagnosis was ongoing she went to Webster University Thailand for a year. Then she transferred to Webster University, St. Louis where Angelica graduated with a degree in International Relations. More recent episodes have damaged her optic nerves leaving her with very low vision and difficulty with hearing. Angelica is reluctant for her condition to be known outside the immediate family because of the desire to be treated as a normal individual.

Same as in her studies where she was focused on graduating against all odds, Angelica is now quite determined to pursue her goal of modelling.

These beautiful images were photographed by Josie Cipriano.  Hair and makeup was done by Rachael Ruth using RANIA Hair Extensions.

We wanted to help Angelica realize her dream of being a model, even for just one day.  She has always aspired to be a model because of her love of getting dressed up and having her hair and makeup done. 

“It was really nice of Jeff to meet us and take us to a lovely room.  He introduced us to Kristen who made us, especially Angelica, feel very comfortable.  She sweetly and patiently explained to Angelica the course of events, make up, hair, getting dressed into different gowns and having her pictures taken.  Angelica was excited beyond words.  Rachel transformed Angelica with her exquisite hair and make up skills, all the while talking to Angelica telling her that she had beautiful hair and eyelashes.  Angelica was thrilled to have the hair extensions. The next step was getting dressed into the beautiful designer gowns, selected by Kristen.  The icing on the cake was having Angelica’s pictures taken by Josie who kept telling her that she was model material. Angelica was overjoyed to learn that she was to model for Canadian Pro Beauty.  We as parents were touched by how special Angelica was made to feel right through. Words cannot express our deep gratitude to Jeff, Kristen, Rachel and Josie for the gift of giving our precious Angelica this awesome opportunity.” commented Angelica’s mother Marina.

The day at CBON tremendously boosted Angelica’s morale, giving her new hopes of realizing a dream. 

Angelica commented, “I felt truly pampered on that day at CBON. I am now over the moon to be featured in the Canadian Pro Beauty Magazine and look forward to being given more such opportunities.”